In reality, all there is is One, whom we call our beloved Waheguru or God or Allah or Source Energy or any other name.
However, clearly, this oneness is not our experience. There is somebody called “I” and then, there is the entire world that is not part of the “I”. Isn’t it?
Aren’t you separate from the rest of the world?
Even though in reality, this separation doesn’t exist, we still experience it. This sense of separation is called ego. In other words, a belief or notion that I am separate from the universe or God is ego. And this ego, the illusion of separation, was created by God to create the universe.
As explained in the article “Why and how was this universe created?”, this world is a world of duality. And this sense of duality that there are two, not one, is called ego. Since, in reality, there is only one, ego is an illusion.
To begin the play of this world, the Lord infused ego in the human beings, and the culmination of this play is for a human being to rise beyond this ego into Oneness. Even though ego is very powerful, it has its own cure in the form of suffering because when a person suffers, he begins to look for a way to end this suffering. It is then he comes on the spiritual path that takes him to Waheguru or Naam or Shabad where there is no suffering.
Khoji writes on ego:
‘Light’ and ‘darkness’ are antithetic and opposite, and cannot co-exist. Likewise, Faith in God’s Existence is antithetic and contradictory to the ‘Egoistic Conception’ of ‘I’, ‘Me’ and ‘Mine’.
To illustrate this fine and sublime point, and make it more comprehensive, a concrete example of Electricity and its gadgets may be helpful.
Electricity is generated in a Central Power House, and is distributed and diverted for various uses through different kinds of gadgets. The same electricity illuminates bulbs of different colours, shapes, sizes and wattage. We know that it is the electricity which is the life and light of the bulb; the filament is only an instrument for the projection and manifestation of the latent current. The outer glass case is meant to protect the filament.
It would sound so absurd and illusive on the part of the bulb to claim and boast that it is giving the light. That would be tantamount to the expression of false and gross ‘Ego’ on the part of the bulb.
Precisely the same way, the ‘Divine Life-Current’ working through us, is the gift of the Lord, and we are different kinds of instruments employed by Him, for the manifestation and working of His Universal Drama, and for the projection of His Divine Scheme. But in our illusion, we think that we are the authors of all our physical and intellectual achievements, conveniently forgetting that the source of all Energy, Light, and Wisdom is ‘God’.
To claim and boast of materialistic achievements of our limited deceptive intelligence as the outcome of our personal wisdom, is stupendous human blasphemy, and ILLUSION of Egoistic Consciousness.
It is a pity that with all our intellectual learning and advanced civilization, we humans should have been so influenced and ‘brain-washed’ by the illusion of our false Ego, as to have the audacity to ‘play God’.
There is a Divine ‘LIFE-CURRENT’, called the wordless ‘WORD’ (SHABAD), running through the Universe, which creates, develops, directs, protects, maintains, sustains, harmonises, beautifies, integrates, disintegrates, regenerates all life in this vast Universe.
Somehow, we have become indifferent, doubtful, ignorant, forgetful, and unconscious of our ‘Heritage’ of ‘Divine Light’ and Wisdom.
Consequently, we have been entertaining, cultivating, feeding, nourishing, developing, sustaining, glorifying, magnifying, deifying the idea and conception of our false ‘Ego’, through the expression, projection, and practice of ‘I’, ‘Me’, and ‘Mine’ for aeons in countless past lives.
Our intelligence has been so ‘Ego-Oriented’ that this false conception of ‘I’, ‘Me’, and ‘Mine’ has become a deep, strong, unshakeable, and uncompromising conviction and faith with us.
The results of our egoistic participation in this vast Cosmic Drama are — untold physical, mental and emotional life-long sufferings of agony, sorrow, and miseries; mixed and diluted with illusory fleeting happiness, occasional thrills and temporary sensuous enjoyments to assuage the ‘Sting’ of Karmic Suffering.
We conveniently forget that this unreal drama of ‘Maya’ is rooted, projected, perfected, and enacted in the illusionary plane of our intellectual and emotional egoistic consciousness.
There is one Sun from which countless rays are scattered all around, giving light, energy, warmth, and life to the universe. If these rays are encased in capsules, each ray will enshrine in itself all the qualities and attributes of the whole Sun, but outwardly manifest itself in different shapes and colours.
Similarly, God is a Single Entity, and all Rays emanating from Divinity carry the very Essence of God’s attributes. This Divine Essence or ‘Presence’ is encased in the ‘Mental Core’ of ‘False Ego’, depicting outwardly different ideas, beliefs, and conceptions.
In other words, God is the only Entity or Reality, and everything else is the projection of Divinity in various forms, ideas and beliefs, fashioned according to outer influences, environment, inner instincts and impulses of individuals.
Influence of our contact with the surrounding world has profound effect in moulding and changing our thoughts, beliefs, or consciousness, which form the basis of our good or bad lives.
It is obvious that the crucial factor in our lives, is the ‘influence’ of the ‘company’ we keep, which can make or mar the fate and destiny of our lives.
This illusion or misconception of our ‘false Ego’ is engendered in our mental consciousness, through the baneful ‘company’ of un-godly elements.
Therefore, it is apparent that a ‘sublimer company’ is imperative and essential for a change or transformation of consciousness to higher plane.
This transformation in our thoughts, beliefs, and conceptions can be wrought only through the ‘inspiring company’ of the Awakened, Enlightened and Blessed Souls.
When this transformation of our consciousness takes place, our soul is awakened and illuminated with the Divine Light and Glory, and the darkness of our false Egoistic illusion spontaneously fades away, just as the darkness of night fades away on the rising of the Sun.
We have to live and work with this false ‘Ego’, until our soul is ultimately re-merged into God, by the Grace of the Guru.
For this, we have to change, re-orient, and transform our false sense of ‘Ego’:
FROM—‘I’, ‘Me’ and ‘Mine’,
To —‘THOU’ and ‘THINE’,
in our consciousness, by constantly remembering, contemplating, meditating, entertaining, nourishing, and developing our belief and faith in the concept of the Benevolent and loving ‘God’, and by thinking, acting, living and having our being in the Grace of God’s Eternal Realm of Kindness, Compassion and Love.
These Divine attributes of Joy, Bliss and Love are lying dormant in our souls, just to be ‘tapped’ with faith and meditation, and enjoyed in profound measures.
In our ‘Ego-Consciousness’ we obstruct the inflow of Divine Light and Grace into our mind, and thereby deprive ourselves of the Divine knowledge and Grace.
Therefore, we are left to mend for ourselves, and thereby suffer the consequences of our depraved egoistic selfish thoughts and deeds, according to the ‘Law of Karma’.
It must be remembered that the sense of ‘Ego’ is transient and ever-changing in its manifestation and ramifications.
Only the ‘Soul’ or the ‘ Real-Self ’ abides, and is ever immanent.
The process of transformation of ‘Ego-consciousness’ to ‘Divine-consciousness’ hangs on the subtle conviction and faith in Divinity. It is not an ‘intellectual exercise’ alone!
Faith in Divinity is the extremely delicate and sensitive crucial ‘Screen’ hanging between ‘Egocentric-Self’ and the ‘Real Divine Self’ of our Souls.
For the culmination of this wonderful and miraculous ‘transformation’ of ‘Egoistic Consciousness’ to ‘Divine Consciousness’, the following salient and crucial points should be comprehended and realised:
- God is ONE without a second.
- He pervades and engulfs all creation.
- His Will prevails and is manifested everywhere in the Cosmos.
- We have become oblivious of, or ignorant of ‘God’ and His Will.
- Therefore, we have developed Egoistic Consciousness or ‘False-Self’ as apart from God.
- This ‘Egoistic Consciousness’ is the root cause of our depraved thoughts and deeds.
- Consequently, we suffer from unhappiness, frustration and miseries.
- On the other hand there is permanent happiness, joy, bliss and love in ‘Divine Consciousness’.
- It is necessary to realise, identify and discriminate between the nature of our ‘False Individual Self’ and ‘Real Self ’.
- Even if we become intellectually aware of the above salient points, very arduous and prolonged efforts are required to change our mentality or consciousness.
- But these efforts become easy with the Divine Grace
- in the company and guidance of Blessed and Illuminated Souls,
- with concentration of mind,
- by regular deep meditation.
This transformation of consciousness will be perceptible in the change of mind, thoughts, beliefs, actions and behaviour of the aspirant, in every aspect of his life —
- from unrest to peace
- from selfishness to selflessness
- from hatred to love
- from vice to virtue
- from sorrow to joy
- from misery to bliss
- from cruelty to kindness
- from sin to nobility
- from jealousy to tolerance
- from wrong to right
- from frustration to tranquillity
- from limited intelligence to all-intelligence
- from myopic vision to celestial vision
- from fleeting pleasure to infinite bliss
- from egoistic consciousness to Divine Consciousness
- from ego-centric to Divine effulgence
- from ‘karmic law’ to Divine grace
- from ‘Maya’ to God
- from ‘I, ‘Me, Mine’ to ‘Thou and thine’
- from hell to heaven
But this process of ‘transformation of consciousness’ is not merely and intellectual exercise or ‘scientific experiment’.
It is a practical course in the ‘Science of the Soul’ to be learnt and imbibed in the school of ‘Sat-Sangat’, i.e., regular company of the ‘Blessed and Illuminated Souls’.
The purpose of the human life is to rise beyond our egoistic self of “I”, “Me”, and “Mine”, and realize our divine self, and see it pervading and permeating through everybody and everything in the universe. And when that happens, we’ll partake our divine heritage of endless joy, bliss, peace, and love.